L'Ombra della Sera (the name means “the evening shadow”) comes from Genoa and is a side project of three members of La Maschera di Cera: Fabio Zuffanti (bass), Agostino Macor (keyboards) and Maurizio Di Tollo (drums). Their aim is to recreate the atmospheres and the sounds of some Italian TV dramas from the early seventies but, in fact, the original themes taken from some old scores of that period are just a starting point since the band reinterpret them adding and developing new ideas, moulding and shaping something new with excellent results. In 2012 L'Ombra della Sera released an eponymous album on the independent label AMS/Btf featuring five covers rearranged and enhanced with the help of some guest musicians “undercover”, including the other members of La Maschera di Cera.
The opener “Gamma” was composed by Enrico Simonetti, father of Goblin's leader Claudio Simonetti, and comes from the soundtrack of a TV drama in four episodes of the same name directed by Salvatore Nocita in 1975. It's a sci-fi story set in Paris dealing with some crimes and a brain transplant. The band develop the initial theme with a dark, psychedelic taste and in my opinion the result is surprisingly good.
“La traccia verde” by Berto Pisano is taken from the soundtrack of a TV drama in three episodes of the same name directed by Silvio Maestranzi in 1975. It's a strange crime story mixed with science fiction where a case of murder is solved thanks to the signals emitted by some very particular witnesses, some plants present on the crime scene. It begins softly and the mood is dreamy.
“Ritratto di donna velata” by Riz Ortolani is taken from the soundtrack of a TV drama in five episodes directed by Flaminio Bollani in 1975. It's a mystery story, a noir set in Tuscany where on the opening theme appears the mysterious Etruscan statue called “L'ombra della sera” that gives the name to this project. The original theme here is rearranged with a funky groove pulsing under a veil of mystery. By the way, in the track list on the CD cover there's an inversion between track number three and track number four.
“Il segno del comando (Cento campane)” by Romeo Grano is taken from the soundtrack of a very successful TV drama in five episodes directed by Daniele D'Anza in 1971. It's an esoteric crime story set in Rome with an intriguing screenplay by the writer Giuseppe D'Agata. It features a vocal part that according to the liner notes is provided by Marco Tagliaferri but this is just a pseudonym. Marco Tagliaferri is one of the characters of the TV drama while this piece is sung by La Maschera di Cera's singer Alessandro Corvaglia. In the liner notes you will find also other characters from the TV dramas credited as musicians.
The last track “Ho incontrato un'ombra (A blue shadow)” by Berto Pisano is taken from the soundtrack of a TV drama in four episodes of the same name directed by Daniele D'Anza in 1974. It's a crime story intertwined with mystery and romance where an obscure past haunts the protagonists. The original theme is developed as if in a long jam session with elements of free jazz.
On the whole a very nice album that gives you the chance to plunge back in the past through images and sounds.
You can listen to the complete album in streaming HERE
L'Ombra della Sera: L'Ombra della Sera (2012). Other opinions:
Jim Russell: The five pieces which range in length from four minutes to an 18 minute monster combine that spooky horror movie retro vibe with the refined professionalism of these individuals. They took this project very seriously and the results are evident. Starting with the somewhat campy and spooky-fun soundtrack backbone, which creates a dramatic and very visual feel, they draw on classical, jazz, funk, and rock to arrive at a sophisticated final piece. The moods and pace vary, sometimes sequences are relaxing and melodic with the mellotron and period keys, other times they veer into VDGG styled semi-dissonance with wailing saxophones and tortured sound welling up louder and louder... (read the complete review HERE)